Washington Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare: Abuse Citations

Washington Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare has received 49 citations for violations of public health code between 2016 and 2020, according to New York State Department of Health records accessed on August 14, 2020. The facility has also received a total of $74,000 in fines in connection to findings that it violated health code provisions concerning infection control, accidents, medication errors, resident behavior, hydration, administration, and more. The Warsaw nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of five surveys by state inspectors. The deficiencies they describe include the following:

1. The nursing home did not protect residents from physical abuse. Section 483.12 of the Federal Code grants nursing home residents “the right to be free from abuse, neglect, misappropriation of resident property, and exploitation.” A January 2020 citation found that Washington Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare failed to ensure this right for two residents. The citation specifically states that it did not ensure the two residents “were free from physical abuse related to a resident to resident altercation.” It describes an incident in which one resident attempted to pull another resident’s wheelchair “and was swinging a fist at the resident,” who in response “used his reacher and struck” the resident “twice in the face,: at which point a staffer separated the residents. A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included a rooming change for the residents, who were roommates.

2. A November 2019 citation also found that Washington Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare did not protect residents from abuse. The citation specifically describes a Registered Nurse Supervisor assaulting a resident. According to the citation, the RNS instructed two other staffers to to hold the resident’s hands while the RNS placed medication crushed into pudding into the resident’s mouth. Per a written statement, one of those staffers said “that RNS #1 had instructed LPN #1 and CNA #1 to hold Resident #1’s hands, then put medication into his/her mouth. When RNS #1 put the medication in Resident #1’s mouth, she tipped his/her head back and put her hand in front of his/her mouth.” A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the suspension, investigation, and termination of the RNS.

3. The nursing home did not implement adequate infection control procedures. Under Section 483.80 of the Federal Code, nursing homes must endeavor to prevent and control the transmission of infection by creating and maintaining an infection control program. A January 2020 citation found that Washington Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare failed to ensure such. The citation specifically states that “face masks were not properly worn by three employees while on resident units.” The employees in question had not received an influenza vaccination, and facility policy recommended that personnel who do not receive such “must wear personal-protective masks when in direct resident contact during the influenza season.” The citation goes on to describe an aide who was observed feeding a resident “with her face mask below her nose,” and another who was observed walking through a nursing unit “with her face mask below her nose.” A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the education of the relevant employees.

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan, PLLC work diligently to protect the rights of nursing home residents.  Please contact us to discuss in the event you have a potential case involving neglect or abuse.

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